How Does Diet Affect Motor Neuron Disease?


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Motor neurons are important nerve cells that are responsible for voluntary muscle control. A motor neuron disease is a neurological disorder that severely impacts these cells. These severe conditions include ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, PLS (primary lateral sclerosis) and PMA (progressive muscular atrophy). Living with these diseases can be a physical and emotional struggle for the patient as well as those caring for them.

A diagnosis of MND can be devastating because there is no known cure. Recent studies have found that there is a link between diet and motor neuron diseases. Certain foods can make it easier to keep up nutrition levels and health and potentially slow down disease progression.

The Importance Of Food

Maintaining a healthy diet is necessary because without proper nutrition other health problems can occur. Extended muscular atrophy, as well as weakened immune systems, will contribute to the risk of infection or development of other diseases. Energy deficiency can cost a great deal to those suffering from motor neuron diseases. Without energy the body will shut down, making it defenseless thus decreasing longevity.


Limiting sugar is necessary for the MND patient. It is imperative to find a way to detox the body. Finding a good detox plan can be extremely helpful.




Nutrition and Motor Neuron Diseases


Eating and swallowing are impacted by the weakening of muscles caused by these conditions, so keeping up nutrition levels can be a challenge. Some changes can be made to the diet to help relieve this. Foods should be eaten in small portions frequently. It is also important to ensure texture is soft and easy to swallow. Fluid intake is essential to ensure the patient keeps hydrated, thus preventing discomfort. Often a liquid diet is beneficial in more advanced cases, so the patient can get what they need without the physical pains of eating.

New Research

A recent study funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association found a connection between high-calorie foods and increased life expectancy. Using a high-fat formula, patients increased weight and appeared to live longer and showed a slower progression of the disease. The diet can be provided using tube feeding if the disease has already interfered with swallowing muscles.

While there is no cure for these diseases, it becomes necessary to take steps to slow the progression of the disease. Diet is a way to help the patient.